Ryan Avery has put his stamp -- and then some -- on the downtown Phoenix scene. Over the past decade, the ultra-hyphenate has been a musician, comedian, singer, performance artist, mustachioed raconteur, conductor, and frontman for such bands as Fathers Day, Drunk and Horny, and Nightwolf.
At any given time, you might find him at a downtown spot waving a baton while conducting the Drunk and Horny Orchestra, performing his intimate audio project Hi My Name Is Ryan, putting together compilations like Fuck Being (Positive): A Tribute to Charles Bronson, running his label Related Records (which releases both his own projects and albums by such locals as Serene Dominic and Treasure Mammal), or helping plan the annual Real Coachella music festival. And he works as a barista at Vovomeena.
Avery's Max Fischer-like tendencies, which date back to his childhood, are covered in great detail in Hi My Name Is Ryan, the 2008 documentary about his life. It is scheduled to screen Saturday, February 1, at the FilmBar.
The 78-minute flick, created over the course of two years by filmmakers Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose, chronicles Avery's voluminous musical and artistic endeavors, as well as his troubled childhood, Mormon faith, and decision to go on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Eagleston and Rose were inspired to make the documentary after reading a 2006 New Times cover story on Avery.)
Besides featuring a lot of footage of Avery, his family, and video of him performing at the Trunk Space with Fathers Day, Nightwolf, and as a part of the Best Friends a cappella duo, Hi My Name is Ryan also serves as a time capsule of downtown's outsider art and DIY music scenes in the mid-Aughts. It's laced with appearances by such acts and musicians as Brodie Foster Hubbard, Andrew and Tristan Jemsek, and The Coitus.
Hi My Name Is Ryan got rave reviews from Film Threat magazine and screened at film festivals and events all over North America -- including AFI Docs in L.A. and events in Calgary, Memphis, San Francisco, New York, and here in Phoenix in 2009.
The film hasn't screened in the Valley since then and will be featured at FilmBar on Saturday as part of its Arizona Filmmaker Series. There will be two short films screened before the feature and a special post-film performance by the Drunk and Horny Orchestra. Djentrification will also spin records in the lounge all night.
The Hi My Name Is Ryan screening takes place at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 1. Admission is $9.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.